That a man is a Mason is something only another Mason can know, and the secret of the Master Mason can be simply and subtly communicated amongst eavesdroppers without the slightest awareness of non-Masons.
New Age Magazine Editorial
Masonry And Politics
Writing of Freemasonry's dominance of the public life of France during the Third Republic (1870-1940), historian Mildred Headings, said the Fraternity established a firm and determined policy that nothing should occur in that country "without the hidden, secret participation of Masonry."
With that goal in mind, the Craft made a concerted effort to have as many Masons as possible in parliament, the ministries, and in other official capacities. As a result, "the public power, the national power [was] directed by Masons."
To demonstrate the political power of Masonry in France during that period, Ms. Headings noted that in 1912, for example, 300 of the 580 members of the House of Deputies (52.7 percent) were Freemasons, as were 180 of 300 Senators (60 percent).
What of the United States? The preceding pages of this book have disclosed how Masonry dominated public policy in a number of individual States, and, nationally, through the Nativist, Know-Nothing, APA, and Ku Klux Klan Movements. But if Masonic dominance of the national legislature is used as a criterion for the strength of Freemasonry in France, the same criterion applied to Masonic membership in the United States Congress shows the Fraternity's control of public life on this side of the Atlantic has been much more pronounced than in France.
In 1923, for example, 300 of 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives (69 percent) were members of the Craft, as were 30 of 48 members of the U.S. Senate (63 percent). Six years later, 67 percent of the entire U.S. Congress was comprised of members of the Masonic Brotherhood.
Although Masons continued to hold a dominant position in the House and Senate in 1941, their proportion of the total membership dropped to 53 percent in the Senate and 54 percent in the House. In 1957, a "typical" member of the 85th Congress was a Mason.
Subsequently, Congressional membership in the Masonic Fraternity seemed to be less pronounced, so that by 1984, for instance, only 14 Senators (14 percent) identified themselves as members of the Craft, as did 51 House members.
Those figures, however, are not entirely accurate, because some public figures do not always announce their membership in the Craft. Typical of such coy Masons in public life is Congressman Jack F. Kemp (R., N.Y). The former football star and Presidential candidate does not list his Masonic affiliation in the biographical sketch he provided for the 1983-1984 Official Congressional Directory; nor does it appear in the routine curriculm vitae handed out by his office. However, the Buffalo News reported in 1986 that Rep. Kemp is "a member of Fraternal Lodge, F&AM, in Hamburg, New York; a member of Palmoni Lodge of Perfection, 14th Degree; Palmoni Council, Princes of Jerusalem, 16th Degree; Buffalo Chapter of Rose Croix, 18th Degree; and Buffalo Consistory, 32nd Degree." In September, 1987, the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite of the Northern Jurisdiction singled him out to receive the 33rd Degree of that Rite in Boston in September, 1987.
But it has not been the Legislative Branch alone in the United States which has been subjected to strong Masonic influence. The Craft's control of the Supreme Court already has been explored; and although Masonry's authority has not been as pronounced in the Executive Branch as in the two others, the secret Brotherhood has had good representation among Chief Executives Fifteen of 39 Presidents have been members of the Craft,some of whom have been more ardent in their attachment to the Fraternity than others.
In addition to George Washington and Andrew Johnson, among more recent Presidents who have been Masons are Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson and Gerald R. Ford.
Of Roosevelt, the Grand Lodge of New York remarked in its official publication that if world Masonry ever comes into being, historians will give much credit to the period when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was President.
President Harry Truman, a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, was quoted as saying: "Although I hold the highest civil honor in the world, I have always regarded my rank and title as a Past Grand Master of Masons as the greatest honor that has ever come to me."
Following President Truman's death in 1972, the Scottish Rite Grand Commander hailed the Missouri-born Chief Executive as "a devoted son" of the Fraternity, and "the first President of the United Statss to have been coroneted an Inspector General Honorary of the Thirty-third Degree (1945)."
Masons serving in Cabinet posts under President Roosevelt were Henry Morganthau, Secretary of the Treasury; Homer Cummings and Robert H. Jackson (later a Supreme Court Justice), Attorneys- General; Daniel Roper and Jesse Jones, Secretaries of Commerce; George Dern, Secretary of War; and Claude Swanson and Frank Knox, Secretaries of Navy.
Among Masons in President Truman's Cabinet were James F. Byrnes and George C. Marshall, Secretaries of State; Tom Clark, Attorney General (and later Supreme Court Justice); Fred Vinson, Secretary of Treasury (and later Chief Justice); Louis Johnson, Secretary of Defense; Clinton Anderson, Secretary of Agriculture; and Henry Wallace, Secrtary of Commerce. Mr. Wallace also served as Vice President during Franklin D. Roosevelt's third term.
During World War II, under both Presidents Roosevelt and Truman the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General George C. Marshall; the Commander of the U.S. Fleet, Admiral Ernest King; and the Chief of the U.S. Army Air Corps, General Henry H. Arnold-were all members of the Masonic Fraternity.
Freemasons serving under President Dwight D. Eisenhower (a non-Mason) were Sherman Adams, his Chief of Staff; Christian Herter, Secretary of State; Douglas McKay, Secretary of Interior; and Robert B. Anderson, Secretary of Treasury.
The Fraternity's Disguised Power
It must be emphasized that many members of the Fraternity do not disclose their Masonic affiliation, as Congressman Kemp's curriculum vitoe indicates. That aspect of the Craft's operations was made clear in a 1962 New Age editorial, which said:
"That a man is a Mason is something only another Mason can know, and the secret of the Master Mason can be simply and subtly communicated amongst eavesdroppers without the slightest awareness of non-Masons. [It] is [part of] the continuing and ancient charm of the age-old rituals and rites."
The same editorial said: "Masons set the basic policies of our society. Yet the order is not political, and its purposes are not public. It is religious . . ."
And one member of the Craft pointed out that there are at least 160 organizations (which he did not identify) that require their members to also be initiates into the Masonic Fraternity.
In 1948, the New Age boasted that some ten million adults were linked directly, or were indirectly associated with the nation's three million Master Masons. The Scottish Rite publication estimated that "between one in five and one in 10 of the adult thinking population come directly within the circle of Masonic influence . . ."
A candid statement on Masonry's dedication to imposing its philosophy on the nation, often through men who hold positions of national leadership, was set forth two years later by a high-ranking member of the Brotherhood. He said:
"Any teaching which is completely antagonistic to all that we consider sacred, in religion, in morals and in government, is subversive of those fundamentals, and on them we depend for our very existence as a Craft. Our first duty, therefore, becomes one of self preservation, which includes defense of those principles for which we stand and by which we live. This duty cannot be discharged by complete silence on the subject, and this view, it is encouraging to note, is today shared byv most of those who speak Masonically in the United States."
Significantly, the writer concluded by noting that some men who were leading the nation at that time were also "leaders of the Craft." He declared :
"This nation was nurtured on the ideals of Freemasonry; . . . most of those who are today its leaders are also members and leaders of the Craft. They know that our American Democracy, with its emphasis on the inalienable rights and liberties of the individual, is Freemasonry in Government . . ."
Perhaps typical of how leaders of the Craft work within the government was the cancelation in 1955 by the Senate Judiciary Committee of a hearing to openly explore and discuss the real meaning of the relgion clause of the First Amendment. It is possible such a hearing might have been considered discussion of a teaching which is completely antagonisitic to all that consider sacred."
At any rate, the New Age reported that the Senate committee had announced in August that it would commence hearings on the religion clause of the First Amendment beginning October 3. The Masonic publication also made clear that it was opposed to such hearings. Subsequendy, the magazine reported: "On September 30, hasty announcement was made by the Chairman of the subcommittee, Sen. Thomas C. Hennings, Jr. , of Missouri, that public hearings on the religion clause would be postponed."
The late Sen. Hennings was a 33rd Degree Mason.
In 1960, the Grand Commander related how the federal government was used to help consolidate two lodges in Italy into one Supreme Council. The situation developed as a result of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini taking over the Masonic Temple in Rome. Following his assassination, the Temple's ownership passed to the Italian government, a transaction upheld by Italian courts. The courts also ruled that the Italian Masons owed 100 miiiion lire in interest and back rent.
U.S. Masons organized American Friends for Justice for Italian Freemasonry, under the leadership of Admiral William H. Standley. A deadline for payment of the 100 million lire was set for February 18, 1960; however, "a sympathetic hearing" was given to the U.S. Masons by Secretary of State Christian Herter, a 33rd Degree Mason," and the deadline was extended 90 days. Moreover, while the Temple remained in the possession of the Italian government, Masons were given the right to certain portions of the building for 20 years , beginning in July, 1960. The 100 million lire debt was reduced by fourfifths, so the Craft was required to pay only 20 million at the rate of 1 million per year for two decades.
Secretary Herter received the Gourgas Medal of Masonry, which is awarded by the Fraternity "in recognition of notably distinguished service in the cause of Freemasonry, humanity or country."
In 1976, the Grand Commanders of the Scottish Rite bodies of the Southern and Northern Jurisdictions honored a number of the Masonic Congressmen. During the ceremonies it was made clear that "much credit must go to the Brethren in governmental positions." It was also stated "that good, dedicated, patriotic men can determine the fate of a nation and contribute to the fulfillment of Freemasonry 's high ideals."
Among the Fraternity's "high ideals" is prohibiting government support to children attending religious educational institutions. In that regard, a Washington newspaper colunm ran two items which were separated in time by eight months, but clearly reflect how Masonry's agenda can be acomplished within the government even if the President of the United States seems to hold a contrary view.
The unsigned colunm, "Alice in Potomac Land," reported on April 5, 1983:
"Not many lobbyists have the ability to alter public policy like Timmons and company. Its top dogs, Bill Timmons and Tom Korologos, are not only veterans of the Nixon/Ford Administrations, but also helped the Reaganites in the 1980 campaign. They have the luxury of picking and choosing their clients. So, when they move into the area of family issues, you you that more is afoot than a [Sen.] Jesse Helms filibuster . . .
"And then word reached us that Timmons has been using his old contacts at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to bring about a meeting between President Reagan and Henry Clausen, the head of the Masonic Order. The purpose of the chat is to talk the Old Man out of his support for tuition tax credits, which the Masons adamantly oppose. "
Just over eight months later, on December 13, 1983, the same column ran the following item:
"Those folks who were active in the fight for tuition tax credits said all along that White House legislative affairs director Ken Duberstein didn't have his heart in the struggle, even though his boss, the President was leading the charge. Now they think they know why.
Mr. Duberstein is
leaving the administration to join Timmons and Co., the
high-powered lobbying firm. Conservatives feel that Mr.
Duberstein was so intent on moving out of government into the big
bucks that he didn't want to risk his marketability by twisting
arms for conserative causes."
Behind the Lodge Door